Excerpts: Secretary Pompeo’s Remarks With Traveling Press

Chairman Kim reiterated on his trip he is fully prepared to denuclearize.  He recommitted that they will not conduct missile tests, that he will not conduct nuclear tests.  Those are good things.  Those remain as a pillar, as a foundation.   You heard the President say that he is committed still not to conduct the major exercises.  So there’s still a basis for believing that we can move forward to solve what’s been now a problem going on for an awfully long time.

The big issue here, right, is achieving the denuclearization.  That’s the objective of the conversations and in turn to provide peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and a brighter future for the North Korean people.  On those things there’s still a lot of work.

The reason we’re having these conversations is because we’re concerned about the threat to the world.  It’s the reason the UN Security Council placed the sanctions that are in place, right.  The whole world voted for these sanctions there because of the risk, the concern that the North Koreans will act in a way that presents real risk to the world.  That’s the reason we’re after this.  It’s the reason we continue on this project.

Are you concerned about Chinese influence?

SECRETARY POMPEO:  Absolutely.  We have an Indo-Pacific strategy that’s very plain and a National Security Strategy that sits underneath that.  Yeah, we’re worried that the Chinese are using their power in ways that will deny freedom of navigation in the region.  And that’s important to every country in Asia, Philippines included.  So I’m sure we’ll have a chance to talk about that as well.